tv Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer Current July 20, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
solution. don't just get angry do something about it. go to www.bradycampaign.org , and you and i together, we got to fight back against this. all right have a good weekend. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening, i'm eliot spitzer. and this is "viewpoint." an unspeakable tragedy at the colorado movie theater last night saw at least 12 people shot dead and another 59 wounded. fans of the new batman movie "the dark knight rises," were watching a midnight show when they were assaulted by a suspect dressed in a helmet, gas mask and black body armor who threw two gas canisters and then open fired. the. ing crowd tried to flee as the
shooter reportedly walked calmly up the aisle firing his weapons. >> we heard oh like two big loud--like bam-bam--i saw a gentleman right next to me getting shot. >> you saw injured people. there was one guy on all fours crawling. there was one girl spitting up blood. there were bullet holes in some people's backs, arms. >> someone said to me, my best friend just got shot. i don't know what to do. you can see she just wants help and needs help. >> eliot: the police arrested 24-year-old james holmes in the parking lot outside of the theater. they're confident that he acted alone. he found a smith and wesson ar-15, a glock automatic prison tall and a remington 870 tactical shotgun. all four guns were purchased
legally. the police are now searching holmes' apartment which was booby trapped with chemicals and explosives. the surrounding area was evacuated and removing the devices to take days. president obama canceled an event this morning telling the florida crowd that they would do what they could and then addressing the shootings in personal terms. >> my daughters go to the movies. what if malia and sasha had been at the theater? as so many of our kids do every day? michelle and i will be fortunately enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight and i'm sure you will do the same with your children, but for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation. >> eliot: g.o.p. presidential candidate mitt romney also canceled a campaign appearance today and then offered his
condolences. >> romney: grieving and worried families in aurora are surrounded with love today at not just by those who are with them and holding them in their arms, they can also know that they're being lifted up in prayer by people in every part of our great nation. >> eliot: new york mayor mike bloomberg a fervent gun control advocate was not impressed with either candidate. >> words are nice, but maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the united states stands up and tell us what they're going to do about it. >> eliot: i'm joined by john rosenthal and and alex seitz-wald. >> eliot: we'll go through a few days of guns, gun control how
we should change laws, and then the issue disappears. what in your view should we do, and how do we go about doing it? >> well, what we should do in this country is require congress to find its backbone instead of just trying to extract as much special interest money as possible from the gun manufacturers and the gun lobby and institute uniform national law. the only uniform national law that exists today is that there is no mandatory background check for all gun sales unless you go to a gun store. so congress says it is perfectly okay for criminals al-qaeda hezbollah, gang members to go to u.s. gun shows, 5,000 a year, 33 states, no background check no i.d. required. nobody should be surprised when they hear that 83 more people
died yesterday today and every day. 105 american--i'm sorry, 150 americans shot every single day. if you added up the americans killed by firearms in 30 years it is more than all u.s. service men and women killed, in all foreign wars combined, and congress does not require a background check for gun sales and allows anyone to buy military-style weapons or concealableconcealable handguns cash and carry, that is our gun policy. >> eliot: alex, you have written about the power of the gun lobby. i can tell you have been in government that this is not only a decisive issue that evokes passion on both sides but it's in a way an urban-rural
issue. explain to us what you have seen about the nar's power where it comes from and how it breaks out politically. >> as you mentioned unfortunately, these kinds of tragedies happen far to often from columbine, the virginia tech, and gabby gifford's shooting. nothing actually happens in actual policy change. the columbine massacre happened less than a 30-minute drive from the movie theater last night. there was a huge national conversation, really one of the biggest tragedies of the era and lawmakers in colorado tried to pass a whole slew of gun regulations, including closing the gun show loophole, as we just talked about. the nra came in and within month they spent $16,000, which is a huge amount of money for the colorado legislature, and they killed all this legislation
except for a few token pieces that the nra approved of. their power is tremendous. you are talking in addition to massive war chest that they can spend. they spent $7 million on independent expenditures in the 2010 election cycle. you're talking about a huge grassroots army. they have 4.3 million members who serve as unpaid lobbyists that call lawmakers on capitol hill and state lawmakers, and complain about these kinds of things. this is extremely powerful lobbyists in the country. they get their way even in the wake of these tragedies that bring new needed discussion on these issues. >> eliot: john, it was a month or more ago that mitt romney went to the nra convention and he gave for him a powerful speech about freedom. for him he meant freedom from the government telling you that you could not buy a gun and he evoked the second amendment. president obama has been notably
quiet on gun control issues over the first three and a half years of his tenure as president. both candidates seem cowed by the power of the nra's political might. how do you overcome that? you talked talked about a loophole, no one tries on capitol hill to take it on. what need to be done to create the backbone that you're talking about? >> well, republicans are owned by the nra and democrats are intimidated into submission. i don't think anything will change. i was asked to go to the white house two years ago when the democrats were in control of the house and the senate. i met in the white house with the president's adviser on justice and regulatory primarily. i said why is president obama not doing what he said he would do during the campaign, requiring background checks at gun shows and for gun sales and renewing the ban on military-style assault weapons and these high-capacity
ammunition clips that are used at every mass shooting. i was hand adler signed by 65 democrats, including gabby giffords who said don't renew the ban on assault weapons if you want healthcare. this is not just democrats or republicans. this is both. this is about money controlling our democracy. what could be more important than public safety in our neighborhood? and the fact that congress allows criminals and terrorists to buy guns undetected in 33 states without a background check or i.d. is criminal in and of itself. the republicans pander to the nra. the democrats run squared. meanwhile, 83 american families bury their kids and relatives every single day. now you have 70 more killed in a mass shooting with a weapon that law enforcement isn't even allowed to carry in their
regular duties. law enforcement has been made the enemy of gun rights by the republicans and democrats who pander to the nra. they carry a service weapon with 13 rounds. meanwhile, we'll find that this guy in colorado just like with virginia tech and columbine they carried multiple rounds. remember, since columbine and virginia tech gun laws have been weakened. law enforcement has been restricted from telling the media where crime guns come from, and the gun industry has been given absolute immunity from lawsuit. that is congress' response. shame on congress. >> eliot: look i could not agree with every word you just said more. i have to tell you when you're in the political battles and i was out there way out in front on these gun control issues, law enforcement is in favor of gun control for obvious reasons. it's the cops and state troopers who are on the receiving end of
shots fired by criminals. alex let me ask you john made a powerful argument, separating out the semiautomatics and the ar-15s and shotguns used by criminals, separate out guns legitimately used by huntsmen and sports men why don't they do something about the guns who have no utility but to yeah create crime. >> no one has taken it up. when you look at the obama administration, the only gun laws he signed was to allow people to carry guns in national parks. no one--you have a huge voice on one side with the nra and lots of people who frankly love their guns and you have nothing to respond to it on the other side. when there was that debate and that separation between hunting rifles and handguns and assault weapons and we got the assault
weapon ban in 1994 that was a huge legislative fight that took a lot of time. it had expired after ten years and i think a lot of people thought--democrats thought they lost political capital for that and gained very little after it expired. there is no appetite among democrats after looking at the legacy of the clinton administration to pick this up again. instead, they would rather make the calculation that it's better to focus on healthcare and these other issues and let guns go by the way side. >> eliot: john, it does seem to me that the expiration of the assault weapons ban, it was a step in the right direction. it was important. letting it lapse not having the fort attitude to stand up and said here is something that is working. we're not just talking about expansion but continuation of the assault weapons ban. is there any possibility now give how proximity this tragedy is to the national convention, to the november election, that some how the debate will come
back to an assault weapons ban and it will come up in the platform of one of the major problems? >> maybe the democrats will find their backbone and bring up the assault weapon ban and the ban on high capacity magazines that are used in every mass shootings. the republicans won't. romney went to the convention and said there is not a need for one more national law. what he's saying is there isn't a need for a background check for all gun sales. there isn't a need for assault weapon ban. the democrats are naive in thinking if they don't bring it up some how the nra is not going to focus on them? after my visit to the white house i went over to congress, and they consider--i simply asked, what has a hearing on why there is no criminal background check required for all gun sales? i was told by the chairman of the house ways and means committee and his staff that they are not going to ask their democrats to take a hard vote on
guns. eliot, they're saying that a background check is a hard vote. i'm a gun owner. i skeet shoot. i believe in the second amendment, and i think that the supreme court got it right. they said you can't ban guns, but you can put reasonable restrictions on how they're sold. our spineless congress can't even find their way to say that a background check for al-qaeda and hezbollah, who by the way used michigan gun shows proven, they used michigan gun shows to buy assault weapons to ship them back to lebanon and our congress can't even do anything to stand in the way of that because they want the nra's blood money. >> eliot: yep. alex quickly in ten seconds, do you think either party will go anywhere near gun control as we move forwards november? >> unfortunately not. just look up the vote of eric holder and contempt of congress,
17 democrats joined that effort. >> eliot: john rosenthal co-founder of stop handgun violence and alex seitz-wald. thank you for your time tonight. this tragedy has been many things but not a surprise. that's next. >>we talk a lot about the influence of money in politics. it is the defining issue of this era. the candidate with the most money, does win. this is a national crisis.
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all share the sentiments. but i disagree with one word that both president obama and former governor romney used to describe the tragedy. the word is shocking. the one thing this horror is not is shocking. after the litany of mass shootings we've had over the past years we should be braced by this tragedy not shocked by it. no one should be shocked. just as we should not be shocked by the killing of 7 at oye-coase university in april or the school shooting in shardon ohio in february or the arizona shooting of congresswoman gab yell giffords and 18 others, killing six in 2011 or the virginia tech has kerr in 2007. every day in america guns claim 848 lives and wound nearly 200. yet some how gun control in this country has become their rail of
politics. perhaps that is partly because the public seems to care less and less. according to gallup, in 1990 almost 80% of the americans said that laws covering sales of firearms should be more strict. by 2010 that number was only 44%. in fact, starting 2009 the majority of respondents said gun laws should either remain the same or be less strict. i'm tired of hearing about the second amendment as a bar to useful measures. it isn't. there is no right to buy sub machine guns guns. we should ban the sell of semiautomatic weapons. these are simple moderate steps. this tragedy is not shocking. it is a reminder, a stark
reminder of our inability to do what so many other nation versus done. put in place meaningful gun control. that's my view. the real world and politics collide on "the gavin newsom show." this week director philip kaufman asks "is war the ultimate aphrodisiac?" find out on "the gavin newsom show." only on current tv.
lism. >>we're going to places where few others are going. >>it doesn't get anymore real than this. >>occupy! >>the award winning series "vanguard" only on current tv. >> eliot: for all the tax cuts for all the stimuli and for all the rhetoric we just can't get this economy stirred up. and unfortunately that brings us to our number of the day. negative 12.9. that's the index this month from
the philadelphia federal reserve. and in case you don't know the philly fed, this is not a good number. the index measures changes in business growth in the pennsylvania, new jersey, and delaware region. when the index goes above zero, factory-sector businesses are growing. when it drops they're shrinking. that's why a chart of the index tends to look the same as a chart of employment numbers and it's one of the best predictors of job growth. that's why the deeply negative number states that the job creation could be low for july. to make matters worse this is the third month in a row with a negative index. this will probably be bad news for president obama and anyone looking for a job--except mitt romney. delighted accomplice
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if you have an opinion, you better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. hey joe? yeah? is this a bad time? no, i can talk. great -- it's the 9th inning and your hair still looks amazing. well, it starts with a healthy scalp. that's why i use head and shoulders for men. they're four shampoos for game-winning scalp protection and great looking hair...
go on, please. with seven benefits in every bottle, head and shoulders for men washes out flakes, itch and dryness. and washes in... confidence. yeah it does. [ male announcer ] up to 100% flake free scalp and hair with head & shoulders for men. um, miss ? you have hard water stains and that cleaner's not gonna cut it. you need lime-a-way. it's 4 times more effective at removing limescale than the leading bathroom cleaner. lime-a-way is specially formulated to conquer hard water stains. for lime, calcium and rust... lime-a-way is a must. >> eliot: ann romney calls out you people. who are you calling you people. michelle bachmann calls out a muslim brotherhood conspiracy, reminding us all that michelle bachmann is still around and still crazy. and we all recall how great it was how great it was to have eight years of george w. bush as president. >> eight years was awesome. i was famous and i was powerful, but i have--i have no desire for
fame and power any more. >> eliot: brings back great memories. tough as it may be today we'll try to end the week on a lighter note by taking a look back at the week that was with political satiriskt john fugelsang. >> thank you for having me and talking about the silliness that unites all. >> eliot: let's play this out. what we call it here, ann romney talking about you people. it was an amazing moment. take a listen. >> we have given you all you people need to know to under our financial situation and how we live our life. >> does that sum it all up. >> and it had to be an african-american journalist. i like ann omni. she seems like a great people, great kids, a knockout, ms survivor, lovely lady. i think this was a case they tried to have the romney that
appears more human and life like to go out and do damage control and she didn't do it very well. it makes her look more out of touch. the can scandal right after she said you people. they said she was talking about the media you people, why would someone like my husband have anything to hide. he does have something to hide. you're hiding something. that's why you're being interviewed. >> i have my own theory. >> give it to me. >> i think we gave him a refund. >> let me get this straight. mitt romney is the guy who during vietnam was a missionary. he was governor of massachusetts massachusetts, and then on the olympics he got his needs for dc and got pate for it. he broke up with bain and still had friends with benefits. you don't want to know how he
does doggy style on cross country trips. now when you ask for his tax records he does not put out. >> eliot: i'm not going anywhere with that change of the topic but that was great. on that note. let's turn to michelle bachmann. >> really? >> eliot: is she still nuts. >> she makes me so ashamed to be an insane lying idiot. she makes the rest of us look terrible. >> eliot: and did she read the story about mccartyism and didn't realize he was the bad guy. >> i don't know if they are bigots or just acting this way to appeal to bigots. but michelle bachmann is a mecca for people who hate mecca. it's really, really ugly. >> eliot: john mccain stepped up. the old mccain, hate to be serious when you're making me laugh on a very somber day but john mccain of old came out and said. >> john boehner did when john
boehner is your moral super that's like taxing wesley snipes. a very rich businessman is running for her seat in minnesota, this kind of gaffe may make conservative folks over there donate to someone else. she's there-- >> eliot: you love her. >> i want her to be president. i would eye a yacht if she was president. i'm a comedian. she makes others look sane and relevant. >> eliot: and gw, did it bring back good memories. >> as a comedy, yes. the first non-buffoon in a generation. i love george w. bush, you never knew what was going to come out of his mouth when they let the free world leader speak on his own. when he promotes the book he never really didn't write. >> eliot: how do you know that? >> whoa whoa, first off it's
called "the decider": then he said parts of it were lifted from other peoples, his aide's books. he plagiarized the book. >> eliot: i read it. >> this book is not him. he wrote the forward. this is george bush's notebook on how to fix the economy. >> eliot: i wondered about that choosing that as the topic. >> he was being humble. now he's anonymous and it was his clunky ill spoken away of appearing humble and it came out the way bush so often did. that's why we miss this guy. with the english language, he was inventing it every other day. this guy talked like dr. seuss. after those ace years losing jobs and the war in iraq. >> eliot: i loved his metaphor.
>> he was just changing the rules, busting this out wide open. i miss his wife as well. only in america would a librarian marry an illiterate. >> eliot: she was continuing her teaching. she had her special ed badge. >> when she said teach for america, she really meant it. >> president obama, this is classic americans taking stuff out of context. let's take a listen to what he really said. >> somebody helped to create this unbelievable american system that we had that allowed you to thrive. somebody invested in roads and bridges. if you have a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> eliot: unless you're in the road building business what he said is true. >> our good friends at fox and friends edited where he explained he wasn't saying the government helped you build it. he said society helped you build it. he said it takes a village to
make a business. the scandal was he was saying the same thing as elizabeth warren. she said the same thing success sinkly. he was trying to do this. he was saying that society produced you. society produced the conditions and structure that allow you to thrive. it's a winner, and i hope he sticks with it. >> eliot: it is a winner and it will be the full the full crumb for the debate. i hate to end in a funny section on a serious note. >> i hope he gets some handlers who can help him condense things in twitter length talking points like me, mr. president. >> eliot: we'll send him your phone number. he needs